Genetically Modified Organisms
Here comes synthetic food, and their big money, and they want to control, our body and soul” — Ziggy Marley, from, "Tumblin' Down" (Miller ). In 1988 Bob Marley’s son Ziggy warned us about synthetic foods, three decades before big corporations started commercially gene-gunning virus and hormone sequences into the DNA of seeds. The debate over genetically modified (GM) food, also known as genetically modified organisms (GMO’s), is vast. I believe that the use and creation of genetically modified foods should be banned until health effects are better understood. All the meanwhile the spread of genetically modified organisms has gone unnoticed by the majority of Americans, most have no idea that there are GMOs in their food, and may not even know what a GMO is. The people of America deserve to know what they are consuming
The graph above shows that 63 percent of processed food in the United States contains GM ingredients (Barrett). Soda and sweets are almost guaranteed to contain GM ingredients. Not only does the US government allow this overabundant and dangerous use of GMO’s, but they don’t require food manufacturers to disclose their use of genetically modified organisms. Vecchio 2
Looking at these statistics and that of America’s obesity epidemic, it’s quite obvious that there is most likely a connection between the two. Another reason I believe the use and distribution of GMO’s is wrong is because they have a plethora of known and unknown risks to humans and the environment. The non-GMO movement now has more than 60 groups actively concerned with the issue, all with a common goal of, at least temporarily, eliminating GMO foods from the market. On a national scale GMO’s have been forced upon the public by big companies without adequate oversight and regulation by the United States Government. Groups participating in the non-GMO movement are mainly concerned with a lack of information, and public participation. These groups believe that the agrobiotechnology problem is a violation of personal freedoms and democratic rights (Roff 513). Major concerns come from previous incidents in which unintentional contamination by GM and non-GM plants took place. The inefficiency of the US government has allowed GMO-related problems to go unchecked. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has ignored the findings of many of its own scientists regarding genetically modified foods (Driscoll and Morley 1). I meditate that at a minimum, the USDA should be required to implement a food labeling system, so that Americans, like Europeans, will have a choice in whether or not to purchase genetically modified foods. So far, Europe has emphasized governance approaches in regulation of new technologies more than the USA. Studies show that when mandatory labeling became required in Europe, sales of a GM products dropped drastically (Roff 512). I contemplate the same effects would happen in the United States as well, because when given a choice, many Americans would opt out of purchasing GMO foods. Vecchio 3
Fortunately for the U.S, California has recently taken action by voting in favor of a GMO labeling law which could ultimately affect the rest of the U.S. California voters already have a record of being leaders in food reform; and because the state makes up almost twelve percent of the US population, food companies might well start unveiling GMO’s nationwide (Philpot ). Moreover I believe GMO’s need to be taken off the market until the health effects are better understood. In addition to this belief The Natural Society recently published an article releasing new information about Monsanto’s GMO corn. Revisions show that Monsanto GM corn is contributing to one of the country’s fastest growing problems. A study published in the International Journal of Biological Sciences shows that GM food is contributing to the obesity epidemic. It was reported that in a study...